Warning: Spoilers ahead for Westworld Episode 2. Proceed with caution!
After the events of Westworld Episode 2, it's pretty clear that Dolores seemed to be acting out the commands of a voice in her head. At the very beginning of the episode Dolores was commanded up by the voice to wake up, and once she had walked outside it asked her if she remembered. By the end of the episode, it was revealed that the voice was commanding Dolores to dig for a gun, one which presumably fires real bullets, not fake ones.
Dolores also appeared to be hearing the voice in Sweetwater, where it told to her once again to "remember," triggering off a memory of the town in chaos. Dead bodies were strewn around the street, a cart was on fire and a lone wolf even padded his way across the road. However, the memory didn't last long as Dolores was interrupted by Maeve, to whom Dolores then repeated the phrase "these violent delights will have violent ends," possibly causing her to start malfunctioning.
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So we know Dolores — a malfunction host — is hearing the voice of a mystery man, but who exactly is this person? An actual human, a figment of her imagination? Well, we've already been given a couple of hints that it could be someone named Arnold.
A ne'er-do-well named Arnold
We first got a mention of mystery character named Arnold in Episode 1, when Walter — the host who went on an unscheduled shoot out in the saloon — said "Not gonna die this time, Arnold. Ain't nothing gonna kill me," as he walked through over bodies, tipping milk on them.
This on its own seems a little strange, and definitely as though Walter is talking to a voice in his head, seeing as the only live people left in the saloon are guests. However it was an cool feature hidden inside the Westworld companion website, Discover Westworld that really set off alarm bells that this mystery Arnold is a ne'er-do-well, if ever I've heard of one.
Discover Westworld is part of an Alternative Reality Game (ARG), which exposes you to the world of the park outside of the TV episodes. Basically the website sells Westworld as a real destination, complete with map of the parks, what you can experience and also a host called Aeden, whom you can ask questions. Interestingly, Aeden seems to be another host who is malfunctioning. For example if you enter "these violent delights have violent ends" into the help chat three times, all of a sudden this message pops up:
The lines "you're in a prison of your own sins," and "hell is empty, and the devil are here," are both lines spoken by Peter Abernathy at various points in Episode 1, however the third line, "Arnold will come for you," was not. In fact, the only mention of someone called Arnold was by Walter.
Who is Arnold?
So now we have two mentions of Arnold from hosts, and another host listening to the commands of a voice which is likely Arnold - who exactly is he? Well firstly, if Aeden knows who Arnold is he's certainly not giving anything away:
Also, most of the other male characters we've come across within the park have had their first named revealed - Mr. Ford's first name is Robert, Mr. Sizemore's is Lee, Mr Stubbs' first name is Ashley, and Bernard's full name is Bernard Lowe. And while we don't know the Man in Black's name, it does seems unlikely he's Arnold given that the man looks to have his own mission to find the maze.
So with those main characters apparently of the running to be Arnold, who could it be? Well an article from Slate claims to know, read below for possible spoilers:
Apparently in Episode 3 we learn that Arnold was the park's co-creator along with Robert Ford. Arnold wanted to create fully sentient life, however ended up dying inside the park (possibly during the last critical fail of the park?). Arnold might also be responsible for some of the host's glitches, as well as the maze that the Man in Black is obsessed with, which soon draws others guests attention as well.
Whoever Arnold is, it seems as though he has a dangerous hold over the malfunctioning hosts, especially now that real weapons have become involved. Given that the park seems well overdue for a critical fail, it seems that Arnold is steering everything towards a big disaster. And who knows, perhaps Arnold was the force behind the last critical fail, 30 years ago.
Westworld Episode 3 "The Stray" will air on October 16 on HBO.